We shine the spotlight on Cynthia Frenette – Janome Canada artisan

Cynthia contributed a really lovely picnic project towards our Cross Canada Picnic 2017 Look book.  Thank you, Cynthia!

This lovely insulated lunch box……there it is on the end of the picnic table where our 2 little girls are having a wonderful time at their picnic. Fun in the sun!

Cynthia lives in the Vancouver, BC area and is not only a Janome Artisan sewing on the Janome MC8200, but she is also a most accomplished graphic designer + designer of fabrics for Robert Kaufmann Fabrics. Find out more about this very talented lady here.

Cynthia used the Michael Miller Cotton Couture fabrics that we all used for the Look Book projects together with some of her own fabric designs which I believe can be found on Spoonflower.

The pattern for the insulated lunch bag shown above is available on Craftsy.



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This is Part 1 in a 2 part series giving more information about making one of the projects found in our Cross Canada Picnic Look Book – Summer 2017. In case you have not yet seen our Look Book, check out this post and this website for this  inspirational maker treat!

Notice the yarn couched with a serger in the ditches of the blocks and what a clever idea to cut up pool noodles for outdoor checkers!

Part 2 about this picnic blanket will be published next week so watch for more information on how Michael used his Janome serger and accessories to make this picnic blanket.

This Picnic blanket was made by Michael, our Janome Educator in Ontario for our Cross Canada Picnic Look Book 2017.  

Notice the embroidery on the blocks

Today Michael, Janome Canada Educator, covers how he embellished the picnic blanket with embroidery designs  using his Janome MC15000 as well as the quilting process using the same Janome machine:

“Janome has a fabulous array of specialty presser feet designed to help do any job quickly and easily with more satisfying results. The Free-Motion Couching Foot allows yarn or thin cord to be stitched in any direction or shape desired.

The yarn is fed through a notch in the back of the foot assembly which allows for even feeding and easy visibility.

On the Horizon Memory Craft 15000, the feed dogs are dropped with the simple touch of a button. One last check that the presser foot has been lowered and you’re off! Stitch in whatever direction, configuration you’d like. I simply followed the seam lines of my blanket, but the freedom of the Free-Motion Couching Foot is only limited by your imagination.

Quilting with the Horizon Memory Craft 15000

Quilting this whimsical and functional picnic activity blanket was quick, easy, and best of all, fun to do – all with the help of the Horizon Memory Craft 15000, Janome’s Top of the Line, 3-in-1 machine.

With the extra-special AcuFil hoop and heavy-duty magnets to hold everything in place, the quilt sandwich can be quilted directly in the hoop. YES! IN THE HOOP! Unlike traditional machine embroidery, there is no inner hoop to wrestle with.

The 11 inch throat space to the right of the needle can easily accommodate any size quilt, without having to tightly roll and unroll it as you work.

The AcuFil Tool software – part of the Horizon Link Software – which is included with the machine allowed me to flip, rotate and mirror my butterfly designs so they all can face and play together, just as the kids will do around the blanket to play a game of checkers.

Acufil embroidery designs – embroider and quilt your quilt at ONE time

Clasp stitching to quilt the “old fashioned way” – found in the Sewing Applications menu of the Janome MC15000

Since Summertime is all about ease, and getting thing done so there’s more time to kick back and relax, YES, Janome has an APP for that! Several Apps, in fact.

AcuDesign has hundreds of additional designs to edit, download and stitch out on your machine – including this adorable Lady Bug.

AcuMonitor lets me step away from my machine as it embroiders so I can multi-task and get things done quickly. I can set my IPad anywhere while it counts down the remaining stitches and indicates where on the design it’s stitching. There’s even a little chime which goes off to signal a thread break, so I can rush back to the machine to fix it and get stitching again without loosing precious time.

Another great time-saver is the selection of stitches for Quilting built-in to the machine.  There is a selection of 4 Clasp stitches which mimic the hand-tying Grandma used to do to secure the layers of her quilts.  I had my whole checkerboard secured in about the time it would have taken to hand-tie one row!  See pic above as well for the front of the picnic blanket. This is the back.

What better way to carry all the parts and pieces of the kid’s games than to whip up a coordinating tote so everything stays in one place?!

With only scraps left from the picnic activity blanket, this adorable tote was made in a few hours utilizing many of the fabulous features of Janome’s Horizon Memory Craft 15000.

I embroidered the name of the game on the bag with one of the 11 Fonts from which to choose, so everyone knows exactly what’s in it and, most importantly, where all the pieces belong after the games are over.

A row of cute little butterflies helps tip-in the AcuFil quilted butterflies on the picnic blanket and is just one of the many decorative stitches built-in to the machine.

A simple buttonhole, one of the 13 one-step buttonholes built-in to the machine, was used to draw yarn through the casing at the top of the bag. This seemed a perfect place to use the left-over pool noodles – yes, pool noodles, which were used to create the game pieces for the checkerboard. If the pieces happen to go missing, at least they’re easily replaceable”.

The whole picnic blanket – what a GREAT summer project!

Part 2 on the Janome Serger techniques used on this picnic blanket coming next week on Wednesday.




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JANOME has chosen the color red as their trademark color.  It appears on their packaging, their notions, their machines, their website logo, and so much more.  The color red also gives us clues as to how to use certain products they create for their machines.

I sew garments, home decor, quilts, machine embroidery, and personal accessories.  I often need to change the needle and the bobbin case depending on what fabric I am using, what thread type and thickness I am using, what stabilizers I choose, and so much more.  Nothing is stagnant with me when I am creating with my JANOME machine.  I require the flexibility the machine can offer me when that creative mood strikes me.

JANOME has three different bobbin cases for their machines and they are all color coded for the type of sewing you are doing.  The red dot case is meant to be used for general sewing projects.  This case gets used the most frequently.  Be sure to look for the colored marking on the case to make sure you are using the correct one for the type of stitching you are doing.

red dot bobbin case

I suggest to students to have a second case on hand so they can switch it out if it gets damaged during sewing.  Damage usually happens when you break a needle and it hits the bobbin case.  This can pierce the case or simply leave a rough mark on the case.  The thread will catch on these areas and cause all kinds of trouble with the bobbin thread.

JANOME also makes red tip needles.  The red tip needle is recommended for dense embroidery designs and thicker fabrics.  It is a size 14 needle with as slightly larger eye that can accommodate those tricky thicker threads.


The color coding of the products helps me to make a quick choice.   There is another time when I rely on my JANOME machine to help me when I am “seeing red”.  I ‘see red’ when I end up with a thread nest in the bobbin area and it is difficult to remove the project from the machine to clean up the thread jam.  My JANOME MC15000 machine has a needle plate that pops off with a simple touch of a button on the base of the machine.  This makes it so easy to remove the thread jam and continue stitching without affecting my project in the process.  This is an absolute miracle for me!

throat plate release

No matter what type of stitching I am working with, I can count on my JANOME machine and JANOME accessory products to produce the best results possible.

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Quilted Target Toss Part 1 of 2

15 Edits girls game

I’m excited to share a little sneak peak at my project in the NEW Janome Maker Look Book!

It is always so exciting to get asked to contribute to these projects! And if you are looking for a little summer-time fun, this quilty sewing endeavour will not disappoint.

I always feel my nieces are a true test of whether one of my sewing projects is a hit or a miss. This Quilty Toss Game was a real hit. They played with it for a really long time and when they were done, I heard quite a few “Auntie Trintu (that’s what they called me), that was fun!” That’s gotta be a good sign, right?

16 Edits girls game

And when the fun for playing games starts to wane and everyone is ready for a snack to refuel, this game doubles and as a quilt blanket.

Project Instructions – Part 1 of 2

This will be the first of two posts on this projects. Today I want to share with you how you’ll make the quilt blanket which is the foundation of this project.

This is a fairly straightforward project which utilizes basic quilting and applique techniques.

You can customize the holes where the bean bags get tossed through with any design you like (more on that in part 2). But the basic construction of the quilt involves 10 x 10 fabric squares in colours of your choice. For this project I used 30 squares.

Using a 1/4 inch seam allowance, join together your squares. Some people like to do this in groups of 9. I like to go row by row. Press seams open.

Next create some ties for each corner of your Quilty Target Toss so you can hang it up wherever you want to have a quick game. I used 1/4 inch binding that I created on my own. You can use pre-made, ribbon or light rope. I cut four lengths, one for each corner, 3 feet long.

Now to create your quilt sandwich!! If you want to finish with binding, you can make your quilt sandwich how you normally would when quilting, just be sure to tuck those ties in at each corner.

I opted for a smoother finished edge which meant that I sewed my bottom and top pieces right sides together (remembering to tuck my ties into each corner), with the batting on the outside of either top or bottom (so it’s not inside between the top and bottom right sides together but on the outside/exposed when you sew). Leaving a 3 inch opening, turn right side out and finish with a blind stitch (hand sewn). You can also top stitch close to the edge around all four sides to capture in that open seam.

In part 2 (which I’ll post at the end of the month) I’ll go through how I made the holes in the quilt so you have a target to toss your bean bags through.

What is your favourite summer time game? Do you do more sewing in the summer or winter?

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As mentioned in the post about the double zipper bag on Monday 10 July, we have a give-away for THREE lucky people this summer. The closing date for entries will be Monday July 31st at 12 noon PDT. Please ensure you enter by that time as any entries after this will not be included in the draw.

WHAT IS UP FOR GRABS? Remember this Book Review some time back?

Janome has recently sponsored a second printing of this book: WALKING FOOT QUILTING DESIGNS  by Melissa Marginet of Manitoba after her first printing sold out completely. Well done, Melissa!  We have THREE copies of this great spiral bound and handy reference book on quilting designs you can do with your walking foot or  your JANOME ACUFEED FLEX FOOT  to give away at the end of July.

HOW DO I ENTER FOR A CHANCE TO WIN ONE OF THESE BOOKS?  Please follow these instructions carefully as all incorrect entries will not be included in the draw:

  1. Tell us briefly in 1 or 2 sentences in the comment box below THIS post what you are sewing this summer on your Janome sewing and/or embroidery machine.
  2. Please also tell us the name of your local Janome Canada Dealer store.
  3. Please do not enter more than once as duplicate entries will be deleted. Filling in the comment box  multiple times will not increase your chance of winning.
  4. Please note that we are only able to ship to Canadian addresses so please only enter if you have a postal address in CANADA where we can ship the prize. If you are able to collect from your local Canadian JANOME dealer store, even better!

Now proudly sponsored by Janome

Don’t delay…..tell us what you are sewing this summer and perhaps you might be a lucky blog viewer who wins at the end of this month?


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I discovered this pattern at a Sewing show about 8 months ago (Yes, I know……I’m guilty of taking a long time to get to actually sewing some projects!). This pattern has been sitting on my desk making ugly faces at me for a long time. Well, it can just quit doing that now as the bag has been made – YAY ……. and I will make more so this won’t be the only one.

The pattern was not expensive or I don’t think I would have purchased it. It has a rather nice little instruction booklet with colour pics arranged in a step-by-step format. This is a good thing as I have not previously attempted making a bag with a double zipper – essentially a bag with 2 separate inner compartments so there are 2 sets of linings and 2 zippers to insert. Don’t get put off! It was not hard to do. I just had to follow the instructions carefully this first time. The construction method is unexpected although clever. I did not get stuck but the pattern designer has her email address in the pattern to contact her anytime if you have questions – a nice touch, I thought.

I like the fabric and fortunately had zippers and lining fabric that worked well with it. This is the large size bag and ended up being about 10 inches long by approx. 4-5 inches wide. There are also pattern pieces for a medium and small bag in the same double zipper style. I’m thinking a set of all 3 sizes would be really handy for traveling. …………and for gifts! Christmas in July? Perhaps I may get some Christmas gifts made for family and friends this year? And pigs may fly too seeing as I have still not unpacked all the boxes since my house move several months ago!

I think this bag style may be just the thing for a number of applications: Sewing accessories like in the pic below?

Cosmetics & toiletries for travelling? I would possibly use firm plastic or a cotton fabric coated in plastic ( some quilt stores sell this) to line the bag if I was using it for cosmetics & toiletries.

The handle makes it quite convenient to hang on a hook or hanger in a hotel room where there may not be a lot of bathroom shelf space. I often find this is the case….not all hotel rooms are designed equally!

The zipper insertion was unusual but not difficult and I was glad I followed the step by step instructions as they eventually made sense. I was glad I did not  think myself too clever by trying to “wing it”. The ends of the zipper – often very tricky to insert neatly into these types of bags  – was very easy and worked well.

I decided to quilt the outer bag fabric and batting layers together before I embarked on the construction of the bag. I used that lovely Serpentine stitch shown below. I made this little bag exclusively on the Janome MC9400 and on this Janome model, the Serpentine stitch is #20 in the Quilting menu. However, many of our Janome machines have this stitch so you should be able to find it on your machine. You can adjust the stitch width and length if you wish. I did on this bag: SW 6 and SL 2.  I used a variegated cotton thread in my needle and an aqua/turquoise poly sewing thread in my bobbin.

Well, there you have it. I will not be sharing the exact pattern instructions as that would be a copyright enfringement. This is more of a “show & tell” and pattern review. It definitely gets the “thumbs up” from me.

Pattern details: Annex double-zip box pouch by Sara Lawson under the Sew Sweetness pattern label. Enquire at your local Quilt store or visit www.sewsweetness for more information about where you can obtain this pattern.


We think it is a fun way to capitalize on great weather by setting up a sewing table on the patio or under a lovely big beach umbrella –  that is what extension cords are for!

Hold this thought as we will be asking for your input on this question in a post later this week —— a Janome summer giveaway that you are not going to want to miss. Stay tuned.



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We are thrilled to announce that our Summer 2017 Look book : Cross Canada Picnic has been posted online at http://www.janomemaker.com/

It is chock full of great sewing projects and  inspiration for sewing on your Janome. There are also free downloads and links to instructions for some of the projects. ALL the items featured in this Look Book were made by Janome Canada Educators, Artisans and Design Team members.  A HUGE big thank you to all who sewed away burning the midnight oil to have these projects done in time for to be included in the Look Book. I think you will agree with us that our celebratory sewing Look Book hits the spot this summer!

ENJOY! Do let us know what you think……….will you?  have you? made anything you saw in this look book? We would LOVE to hear from you. And we will be featuring many of these projects in a little more detail on future janomelife blog posts………..stay tuned!

This is one of the projects featured in the Look Book and is a  beautifully designed insulated lunch tote made by Cynthia Frenette of Mission BC. Cynthia is one of our Janome Canada Artisans. More coming soon on how you can obtain this pattern and make this lunch tote.

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Warm weather is the perfect time to prepare our summer t-shirt. The AcuDesign APP by Janome  offers two neck embroideries in the ‘Decorative’ section: Decor 01 and Decor 02. These embroideries can be embroidered directly onto a t-shirt or onto organza fabric and then applied as an applique to the t-shirt.


AcuDesign screen on the iPad

From the AcuDesign application on the iPad, I sent the design to my computer to print the template and get accurate positioning on the t-shirt.


The template is printed in 4 parts

Since the fabric is ultra thin, the use of non-slip strips has kept the two layers of organza in place in addition to the magnets of the hoop. These tapes can be purchased from your authorized Janome dealer – see below.

bandes anti-dérapantes

Part # 864-813-006

When the fabric is secure, it is ready to be embroidered.  The stabilizer to be used is that which is soluble and adhesive.



#1: Fabric Place # 2: Back of Fabric with Stabilizer # 3: Fabric Sealer for All around the embroidery.

When the entire edge has been sealed and is dry, the next step is to cut the pattern all the way around and then plunge it into warm  water to dissolve the stabilizer.

broderie découpée


Front and back of embroidery

And here is a top enhanced with an organza neckline. It can simply be layered for a jewel effect or fixed with tacking stitches  or embroidered directly on the top.

avant après


Before & After.

We announce Cindy Lindgren’s ‘Backyard Bliss’ collection:  thirty pretty patterns of animals, plants and vegetables / garden fruits that can be purchased individually OR in a collection. Find this on AcuDesign App

Backyard Bliss

Some of the 30 designs in the Backyard Bliss Collection

The collection has everything in your backyard!! 

This post written by Celine Ross and translated  & edited by Liz Thompson  of Janome Canada

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The Canada 150 paper pieced pillow designed for Janome by Tamara Kate of Montreal is available for download on our website: www.janome.ca.   

There are TWO parts to this download: the Project Instructions (in English or French) and the Piecing Pattern. You will need to download BOTH parts and follow them carefully for best results. We recommend you print them out.

Good luck and enjoy!

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I am sure that many of us are very proud Canadians and would love to be in Ottawa this weekend to take part in the fabulous Canada 150 Sesquicentennial celebrations.  However, for many of us, this is not going to be possible. But many festivities are planned across the country so DO enjoy these and bask in a moment of Canadian pride!!

As many of you are aware, there have been many and varied projects on the go for many months to celebrate this event using our combined sewing and quilting talents. Of course, we have our lovely Canada 150 sewing machine – the Limited Edition M100 – which is still currently available for purchase should you feel suitably patriotic.

Isn’t this machine just pretty and perfect for commemorating Canada’s 150th AND sewing at the same time?? And the cute little pincushion on the top is included! 

Please contact any local Janome dealer across Canada who will be able to assist you with further information and pricing on this machine. We have a Dealer locator on our home page: http://www.janome.ca > top right corner.

One of the Canada 150 projects that I made was a table cloth which I entered into the Fabric Challenge at Haus of Stitches, Humboldt Saskatchewan. Wendy, our dealer in this area, hosts the Saskatchewan Stitches Conference each year. This year was a big one……it was the 15th anniversary of the Conference so she decided to combine her Fabric Challenge with a Canada 150 theme. She did not want to limit us at all so she chose a cream solid cotton/linen blend fabric as the Challenge fabric and all we had to do was put a little maple leaf somewhere on the project.

I went all out last Fall in a burst of patriotic zeal, and purchased a bunch of Canadian fabrics – some of it was 2 panels with blocks showcasing various cities across our beautiful country (see above). I cut these panels up and sewed them all together in rows with sashing and borders using the cream Challenge Fabric from Haus of Stitches. I chose NOT to use batting as I wanted a lightweight, soft/draping end result so that it could be used as a table cloth in my new home (which I moved into a few months back). I decided I did not want a quilt on my diningroom table!

Simple, elegant and it sure served a patriotic purpose for my family and I.

No, I did not sew skew! It is how it was hanging when I photographed it.

We have already featured our maple leaf designs but in case you missed it, here it is again:

These designs are now available for free download on our website – full instructions on the blog post earlier this week on 26 June 2017.

What Canada 150 sewing have you been busy with? 

Travel safe and enjoy Canada Day 2017!!


Did you

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